Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guest Post - NBA Social Media Award Show

My name is Greg Monforte and I am a sophomore sport management major at Drexel University.  My interest in sports started at a young age with me playing basically every sport there is.  I played competitively through high school and still enjoy playing sports with my friends now.  Since I realized that I will never play professionally I wanted to get into the other side of the business.  My main interest in sports is marketing and sponsorship sales.  In the future I would like to work for the UFC or another MMA organization. 

Social Media has exploded in the sports industry in the last couple years.  This explosion has benefited the fans in many ways.  Fans can now get breaking news instantly to their phone before it is even announced on Sportscenter.  If you can’t watch a game all you need to do is go on Twitter and you can read a play by play of everything that is going on.  A new award show for the NBA has added another benefit to the list.

Today, June 20th the NBA is having their first ever Social Media Awards Show.  This is the first award show celebrating social media in any sport.  The awards will not only be for players but also teams, coaches, and analysts.  The platforms will include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.  There will be twelve awards total including the Epic Award, celebrating great performances, the LOL Award, best blooper of the season, and the Triple Threat Award, given to an analyst who is a former player with the most social relevance. 

The NBA is very popular on social media with more than 277 million likes and follows between Twitter and Facebook.  This award show is another way that the NBA is trying to use that popular to connect with the fans.  On All-Star Weekend fans were able to vote for who they thought had the best dunks during the Dunk Contest.  In March teams started selling T-shirts with the players Twitter handle on the back.  This April the NBA launched pages on Tumblr and Pinterest to continue its expansion into new platforms of social media. 

The NBA is not the only league that has been trying to become more involved in social media.  The UFC, MLB, and NFL have all been active in social media in many different ways.  The UFC can thank social media for why they have become as popular as they are now.  Dana White, the president of the UFC, has more followers on Twitter than any other front office executive in any league.  He has ten times as many followers as Roger Goodell.  The fighters rival the NBA players on who is more popular on Twitter.  The UFC is the only organization that gives cash bonuses to their fighters for Twitter use.  The bonuses are given out quarterly to fighters who have most effectively added followers, tweeted creatively, and engaged with fans.   

The MLB’s players are not as popular on social media as the UFC or NBA, but the league has still been very active on the different platforms.  In 2011 at the Homerun Derby players were allowed to interact with fans on Twitter and Facebook during the contest.  This year at the All-Star Game booths will be set up with computers so players can tweet during the game.  The player can go to the booth when he is taken out of the game or when he is coming off the field. 

In April the Astros and the Blue Jays both tried something that has never been done before by a team in the MLB.  The Astros had a social media night.  This allowed fans to go to a designated part of the park before the game and take part in different activities.  The activities included a meet and greet with players, dinner, and a trivia game where the fans tweeted their answers.  The Blue Jays were the first team to print T-shirts with the players’ Twitter handle on them.
The NFL has not been as active in social media as the previous sports but they are still doing their part.  The players are very popular on different platforms and as I mentioned earlier the commissioner, Roger Goodell, has a twitter account.  At the Pro Bowl this year booths were set up so players could tweet during the game.  This is the only major thing that the NFL has done to incorporate social media.  They are going to have to become more active so they do not fall behind other leagues. 

As you can see social media has become big in basically every sports league.  I personally believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.  The possibilities are endless for individual teams and the league.  Let’s hope that leagues keep trying to top each other with how they incorporate social media.  The more they do the better it will be for every sports fan.   


  1. Social media is the current sign of the times. I definitely think the NBA is ahead of the curve when it comes to social media. They utilize youtube better to show highlight plays, and they also do a better job of promoting their athletes and other personalities on Twitter. I do think that part of that is just better overall marketing, since the NBA is usually more focused on marketing individuals and individual plays in general. Good post

  2. Great guest post. I did not realized how heavily involved in social media UFC is.

  3. You are right Drew it's unbelievable the amount of social media that is going on. Looks like you guys picked a good major. Lol